“When I saw you I was afraid to meet you. When I met you I was afraid to kiss you. When I kissed you I was afraid to love you. Now that I love you, I am afraid to lose you.” – Unknown
It’s been a long time since I was involved in the art of courting. If I remember correctly, it always began with the eyes. When I was young, I always traveled in a group. Within the group would be guys and girls, suddenly eyes would lock and you would share a knowing attraction. And, you would playfully circle one another without revealing this truth to others until you could be alone together. But, until that time, it was as if the rest of the group didn’t exist. All you could hear was the thumping of your heart as you waited for the right moment to disappear together to explore your feelings.
Well, mine is probably a more romanticized version of how it is in real life, but wouldn’t it feel wonderful? It seems like courting is a dying art and the love letter is it’s dying limb. We live in a world of instant access. You can send a text message to quickly express a thought. You can log on to Facebook and profess your love to someone by merely changing your status. You can take cutesy pictures together and post them for the world to see. But, is this romance?
After watching a whole season of “Catfish”, where people spent years professing love to someone they had never seen or talked to on the phone, it’s obvious that people are starving for romance in their lives. Social media are playing a role in divorces and the breakup of relationships, because people are looking for romance. Romance is the seduction of the mind and heart while sex is the seduction of the body. We go to movies to be seduced mentally into a story for a few hours. We listen to music to be seduced through our ears. We go to a restaurant to be seduced through our taste, smell and sight as we explore the deliciousness of food. We are seduced throughout the day by things that caress our senses and create memories within our minds. We can fall in love with simple things that bring us gratification, such as the simple cup of coffee that brings me joy this morning and keeps me company as I write. We were designed to fall in love and to love.
But, I wonder if social media and text has made us lazy. It’s so easy to share your feelings with someone who we trade feelings as if they were business cards. Sometimes, the joy and pain of romance is in the excitement and the anticipation. It’s your heart beating in your ears as you wait to find out if someone else feels as much about you as you feel about them. It’s someone setting a plan to win your heart. If you listen to the music or watch tv shows, there seems to be a “hookup” culture. I’m not sure that I even know what that means, but it sounds very casual.
“In courtship a man pursues a woman until she catches him”- Proverb
Love is the best when the two people in it are working towards a goal. Courting was the man making the woman his goal and pursuing her affections. Generally, her goal in courting is to decide if he was worth her time and her love. She had to look at his character to figure out if he was the man she could give her heart to. It seems like there has been a huge shift. Women have become like a candy store where a man picks out what he wants, pays a small price, then tosses her away when he’s done. There is no chase. There is very little courting, but heartache prevails.
It’s not that romance can’t change with the times. Maybe, no one will send a letter through the mail to their lover. Maybe, you will only ever have a love text. But, it seems like the understanding of romance’s place in love is being lost. It seems that people have convinced themselves that it’s not necessary or it is something they don’t need. Meanwhile, they are searching for it. They are leaving their relationship in search of something when they are seduced by romance. We all want to feel wanted. We all want to be desired. We all want to feel as if someone loves us as much as we love them. Romance accomplishes this and it is necessary in our relationships. How it is defined is between the two people in a relationship. The biggest mistake is to think that relationships don’t need or that we are somehow beyond romance. It’s like thinking a plant doesn’t need water or sunlight.
“When you love someone, all your saved-up wishes start coming out.” – Elizabeth Bowen
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